13/09/2013 Newsnight


With Kirsty Wark. Opinion polls say the Liberal Democrats face meltdown, Obama's internet man Harper Reed and London fashion week. Where were the Beatles 50 years and 16 days ago?

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to make his big pitch to the Lib Dem conference, stick with the


coalition, and as importantly, stick with him. Ignore flirtations


with Labour at the conference this week, the only conversation in


Glasgow may be what kind of coalition we get after the election.


Saving the environment, with heavy industry and GM crops. Bring it on


says the deputy editor of the Economist.


This man masterminded Barack Obama's on-line election campaign,


has media power now gone from TV to Twitter. We will hear this...#


Ahhhh. And oh the handbags and the glad


rags, on the catwalk at London Fashion Week.


Good evening Nick Clegg has a job of work to do at the party annual


conference this weekend. The Liberal Democrats poll ratings are


in the doldrums, one of his rising stars, Sara Tether, has thrown in


the towel. According to the latest stars, Sara Tether, has thrown in


Ipsos mori survey of the party supporters, almost half believe


Nick Clegg is taking the party in the wrong direction. It has not


been a summer of fun for Labour or Conservatives either. Assessing the


conference to come. Soft centre? Something harder?


Perhaps you prefer your politics a bit NUTier. Conference season


normally has it all. It is where the parties compete to tempt voters.


The start of this year's conferences mark exactly 600 days


until the election. Sweet news for Nick Clegg, whose conference comes


first, is he goes into the conference season perhaps the most


secure out of all the party leaders, with the least to worry about from


the coming few weeks. Friday the 13th didn't start so


well for the Lib Dem leader, a call for him to step down from the


former fresh spokesman Lord Oakeshott. He said the ratings were


down at levels, which if you go back, were only seen by Mrs


Thatcher shortly before she left and Michael Foot. The call gained


no traction with Vince Cable, he disowned the comments and Nick


Clegg was able to shrug them off. It is like foul weather in the


autumn, it comes around regularly at this time of year, and as do


remarks by Lord Oakeshott. He has said them before about previous


leaders, you have people like that said them before about previous


in politics. One of the reasons Nick Clegg sleeps well right now is


there are no obvious contenders for their job. Had Chris Huhne been


acquitted earlier in the year, he would have been the obvious answer


to that question. Given what has happened with him. Actually there


isn't an obvious alternative leader, in particular because a lot of the


criticism levelled at Nick Clegg is by virtue of him being the leader


of a small party in Government. That is why activists do understand


if there was a new leader of the party they would be in exactly the


same position and face the same criticisms. The Lib Dems have had a


few sweet successes this year, defeating the Conservatives on


boundary reform and childcare ratios went down very well with the


base, as did killing off the Communications Data Bill. The


budget announcement that the Lib Dem policy of a £10,000 tax-free


allowance would be reached by 2014 was also seen as a victory for the


party. That all came before the hugely important political news of


better economic figures. The economy is starting to turn a


corner because of the Lib Dems, without us showing remarkable unity


and resolve over the last period, we wouldn't have produced, as we


have done, over a million-and-a- half new jobs in the private sector.


We wouldn't have provided the confidence to businesses to employ


more people and investing in businesses and getting the economy


growing again. Nick Clegg has secured his party leadership may be


good news for him, does it matter if nobody going to vote for his


party? At the moment they are bumping along at around about 11


points in the polls, they have shed bumping along at around about 11


a third Lib Dem members since 2010, however, both of the other party


leaders have their problems too. At the moment Liberal Democrat MPs are


more confident of holding on to their seats, therefore they are


more confident of holding on to less jumpy and ease yr to lead. --


easier to lead. Since Nick Clegg last addressed his


party his position may have strengthened, but he still faces


challenges next week, motions on Trident, the 50p tax rate, the


spare room subsidy and tuition fee, all promise to be uncomfortable.


With Britain ruled out of military action in Syria and the economy


looking well, there is nothing it that trip the party into an


existential fist fight. That means they can all concentrate their


address in trying to push the other parties out of the picture. Now we


speak to our political editor. Where do you think the sparks will


fly at conference conference? There will be a few sparks, I was amazed


that there was 600 days to the next election. There will be sparks at


the conference, many more in the 600 days. The sparks will be quite,


quite massive, but nothing compared to what we will see close to the


election. We will get row over the economy. There is some who want


some kind of Plan B, they always get this at Lib Dem conferences.


Today we gather that Nick Clegg will put forward his own amendment


and personalise it, and say if you defeat this you will defeat me. I


would say that will be avert, there is also nuclear supsidies and a


couple of others. You will hear a lot of rows coming out of Lib Dem


conference, and it is fair to say, my sources tell me, at a very


senior meeting of Conservative and Lib Dem ministers, they regularly


meet for this thing called coalition r 2.0. The clue is in the


name, ministers who would like the coalition to continue after the


next election. The last meeting of that, just before the summer, was


very rancour res, partly because of the story we broke on Newsnight


that Nick Clegg said he wanted to unilaterally kill the childcare


ideas. You had an unhappy coalition, such that Conservatives at the


dinner said to their Lib Dem counterparts, we don't believe


anything you say any more, we think in the future you will go to Labour.


The Lib Dems had to remonstrate and say we won't and we have an open


mind. The reason I tell this story and it is relevant this is now I


gather from very good people, including friends of the Prime


Minister, it is being patched up because of Syria. Syria has


massively changed the mood between the two guys at the top. That is


what made the coalition seem to get the two guys at the top. That is


along better, simply over Syria? I think there is for David Cameron


and Nick Clegg there has been a realise that Ed Miliband will do


what he needs to do politically to get into the best spot. That


clarifies what the next coalition negotiations might be like. So


worth waiting for? Now in the history of the world, there have


been five huge waves of ex tifpbgss, one wiped out dinosaurs and one


wiped out 98% of the life on earth. Many think there is a next wave,


caused by us. That is if you believe that economic growth and


technologies like GM destroy biodiversity and ecosystems. Emma


Duncan doesn't believe anything of the sort and believes the green


lobby is wrong-headed, she is in the studio as is Craig Bennett, who


disagrees. Here is Emma on why we and the world's creatures might not


be going to hell in a four-wheel drive.


Since man sharpened his first spear he has been killing off other


species at an astonishing rate. All the world's continents used to have


great beasts like Africa's elephants and Rhinos, in Britain we


used to have giant deer with Antlers 12-feet wide. Most


scientists believe these huge creatures got wiped out as people


spread across the globe and killed them off. Progress and economic


growth have allowed mankind to dominate the planet, to the point


where we have squeezed out other species. Many environmentalists


believe unless we slow growth down and adopt eco friendly technologies,


we will condemn more species to extinction. I don't believe that is


right. Right now we are at a crucial juncture for other species,


the earth has seen five waves of destruction caused by geological


events. Now even without climate change damage, scientists think man


has pushed the world to the brink of a sixth great extinction. If you


look at the underlying rate of current extinctions, I'm inclined


to say we are right on the tipping point. The numbers of species going


extinct annually could be as few as 200 but as many as well over 10,000.


While it is true if there weren't seven billion on the planet, other


species would be having a more comfortable time. The problem isn't


growth, it is poverty. Look at a satellite map of the island of


Hispaniola, the western side is Haiti, where people's average


income is $771 a year. It has been striped bear, not surprising,


people who can't afford fuel chop trees down. On the eastern side of


the island is the Dominican Republic, where the average income


is $5,800 a year, it has plenty of forest. Richer countries have


better Government, and without a decent Government you can't have


conservation work. Richer countries clean up their rivers and their air.


Population growth, which is the biggest problem for other species,


slows as countries get richer, and people start pressing their


Governments for change. That is what happened in the west in the


1960s with the formation of groups like Greenpeace, and WWF, that


played a large part in the passage of laws, to clean up the


played a large part in the passage environment and protect other


species. You can see how things have


improved in this countries as we have got richer. Our rivers, once


little better than open sewer are getting cleaner all the time. You


can see the wildlife coming back. 30 years ago there were otters in


6% of the sites surveyed by the Environment Agency. In the most


recent survey it had spread to 60%. And in China, which has made a huge


mess of its environment, National Parks are being create at an


astonishing pace. It set up the first one in 1982 and now has


three-times the amount of land in National Park as America has.


London Zoo is nearly 200 years old. The technological progresses has


London Zoo is nearly 200 years old. revolutionised the work of


conservationists in recent years. Conservation used to be done mostly


by men in shorts with not much more than a pair of binoculars, here it


has heavy duty technology at its disposelia. In Brazil


environmentalists used NASA site light data to embarrass politicians


environmentalists used NASA site into doing something about


deforestation. That is one of the main reasons why deforestation in


the Brazilian Amazon has fell down to 5,000 square metres last year.


Technology has also had a huge impact on agriculture. Fertiliser,


pesticides and genetically modified seeds have boosted farm yields. In


America, for instance, corn production has increased five-fold


over the past 60 years, while the area harvested has increased by


only half. With demand for food expected to double by 2050, if we


are to leave any land for other species, we have to make farming


more intensive still. And use all the tools available to us. This is


why a former anti-GM company parts company with those in the green


movement, who don't like intensive ago culture, and would prefer we


farmed organically. You really have to use twice as much land to


produce the same amount of food and crops with organic. If the whole


world was to turn organic it would mean essentially destroying all the


rainforest to feed the number we have now. Intensive and


conventional farming for all of the ills is a very efficient way of


using land. The challenge now is to sustainably intensify to produce


more food for a growing human population and hopefully a


reduction in land area to be prevefrd for natural areas and eek


toe-is is emit is. The why -- and ecosystems. The idea


here my seem odd. We need to change our thinking about how best to look


after other species, if we are going to avoid the sixth great


extinction. Emma Duncan and Craig Bennett of Friends of the Earth


joins me now. Emma is right in the developed world Governments are


responsible, Governments create good policy which reduces, for


example, pollution? I think we have seen obviously a strong growth of


environmental movement in the seen obviously a strong growth of


developed world over the last 40 years which has been really


successful in encouraging Government to put in basic


pollution controls. We haven't seen any real attempts to make sure that


our consumption and lifestyles are sustainable and work within


environmental limits. It is wrong to suggest that some how there is


not a strong environmental movement in the developing world. Actually


Friends of the Earth, we are part of the international group with


groups in over 80 countries, most in developing countries.


I think that is absolutely right and one of the great developments


we are seeing. With economic growth you get the environment getting


worse up to a certain point, and then you get things getting better


as people get richer. One of the reasons that happens is people


start minding about their environment, once they have


satisfied their basic needs like food, shelter, education they start


caring more about things on a wider basis.


All growth is good, let's take the might of dairy farmers in this


country. They are going to the wall every single week because cheap


milk is brought in from Lithuania and Poland. Is that better for us,


that milk is older and the carbon footprint of bringing it in and no


sustainable dairy industry. Is that the kind of thing that reduces


pollution? You have to look at it on a wider scale and look at what


growth brings, it brings sewage systems, poor countries can't


afford that. You build a sewage system you clean your rivers up,


you start introducing regulation to make the air cleaner because people


want cleaner air. Every age people get richer they want their


environment cleaned up. I think it is a really old fashioned approach


actually to suggest that all that matters is the quantity of growth.


And this obsession with how much percentage points of growth we are


talking about is very misleading. We need to be having a discussion


not so much about the quantity of growth, but the quality of growth.


If we left the studio and went and growth, but the quality of growth.


smashed a few shop windows, it would add to GDP a tiny bit. It


would not add to the quality of people's lives. We need to talk


about the purpose of the economy, what is it for, how can it lead to


real human progress and make life better on this planet. The


scientists have changed their view from anti-GM to say they are good


for the planet? A journalist.They feed more people using less


territory? Again that's a very forced dichotomy. What we need to


do is not think about a reductionist approach about whether


this bit of land here is for agriculture and this bit of land


for urban areas and this bit for something else. What wf learned


over the last few decades is to get multiple uses out of the land. And


not to have the agricultural deserts we have in East Anglia, we


need to think about biodiversity living in areas where we use axe


culture. If you are going to have the organic agriculture that


Friends of the Earth want, you will plough up every piece of wild


territory on the earth. Isn't the argument the consumption?


We have actually got to change our lifestyle, given the fine night


resources. There is such a thing as unsustainable growth? If you look


at countries that don't have growth you find they destroy their


environments much more quickly than those of you that have had growth


and have the prosperity. Would you accept that? We have to have a


sensible debate about what progress is in the 21st century. Do you


accept be you say Friends of the Earth is operating, but do you


accept in underdeveloped countries, for whatever reason, that pollution,


problems with the environment are much greater than in developed


countries? I think it is dangerous to generalise, at the end of the


day if you look at one thing, carbon emissions we are worse in


this country, developed countries, we are not taking it seriously


enough to control those. You can focus on a few hours of pollution


control, we are missing the big picture, in climate change it is


the richer countries to blame far and away for climate change. Is


carbon control a problem? We are not sure how, treem it will be, at


the moment we haven't had any temperature increased for the last


ten years. The range of estimates of what climate change might be


have very, very large. What I do know if we want to decarbonise


energy, without growth we won't get that. It is ridiculous to suggest


that the environmental lobby is against new technology, we promote


it all the time. Let's not have an ideolgical approach to suggest it


is all good or all bad. We need a pragmatic approach, some are good


and some bad and it depends on the context. Central London was


swinging at the start of London Fashion Week, it has late low


acquired edge with affects the fashion world's love of finer


product dues, cashmere, silk and tweed. The arrival of a clutch of


designers known all over the world, happening in le central London. I


began not at the catwalk but outside an iconic British store.


Who is your favourite British designer? Probably Matthew


Williamson. Stella McCartney is good. Christopher Kane.At the


moment Victoria Beckham. Young British designers and young


British customers are very savvy, you might not be able to afford


something from the catwalk collections but they make for the


high street. Two collections for Topshop were a


sell-out, the best collaboration Topshop had ever done and the


customers came back for more. London Fashion Week is open for


business, and Newsnight blagged a front row seat. While once London


stood in the shadow of New York, Milan and Paris, it is now the big


ticket. It is seen as such a creative place and people want to


be part of it. Tom Ford, case in point, is based in London. It makes


sense for people to be here. Over the next week, when the 58


designers will show off their collections in front of the top


journalist, bloggers and buyers, clothes are a serious business.


With fashion contributing £21 billion to the economy. According


to the British Fashion Council millions of orders will be placed


over the next few days. Names like Richard Westley and Burberry will


be there, as well as other brands reinventing themselves like Dax.


The theme is Made in Britain, and the clamour is led by the younger


designers. They manufacture on their doorstep and it is easier,


some of the bigger brands are also looking at how they can do more


manufacturing in the UK. Made in Britain, designed in Britain does


sell. One of the freshest talents to combine British fabrics and


sharp tailoring, is Christopher Raeburn. I watched him back stage


as he revved up for the show. When I was studying I found there was


already something of a loss of skills. In fact it was something


that you turn it on the head and you realise it is an obligation as


a young designer to continue, to really encourage and inspire


manufacturing, the skills that go with it. Clearly my outfit wasn't


quite up to scratch. This is a wool mac, this is from the autumn winter


collection. It is pure pool and all the production for this is done in


East London as well. We are hoping that will keep you nicely protected.


The hall of packed and a Hughes sense of anticipation for


Christopher Raeburn's first main show. The Business Minister was


squashed in between the fashionistas in the front row, the


clothes draped beautifully, the models immpossibly elegant and


striking, well most of them. In less than 20 minutes it was all


over. The fashion writers and buyers will decide if Christopher


Raeburn will be next spring's must- have designer.


It is amazing what you can do with just 140 characters. Last night in


a single tweet Twitter announced the intention to float on the US


stock market. The global media frenzy that followed is the


clearest possible testament to the unique power of the medium. One man


who understands that power more than most is Harper Reid, tech


whizz and self-proclaimed cool buy, and the guy who ran the on-line


campaign for Barack Obama's re- election last year. Are you first


in the queue for Twitter shares? Yeah, maybe, it is such an


interesting company because it has powered so many revolutions, real


ref lugs and it has changed so many industries -- revolutions and it


has changed so many industries. You would want a return on your money?


How will they monetise, it there is talk of advertising on Twitter,


will it not irritate people. I wonder how they will do it, they


produced a company in the US, it is a large advertising network for


mobile phones, maybe the advertising is just not on Twitter,


but on the general internet or. Of. We will have to wait a see a bit.


How do you think Twitter will change and how do you think the way


people use Twitter will change? I don't think Twitter will change


much. I do think people will be they might react interestingly if


Twitter does drastic changes. But Twitter has had had a long time to


mess this up and they haven't. I Twitter has had had a long time to


don't know why an IPO would be a trigger to cause a problem. So


actually they would not want to upset their customers as well as


shareholders. Exactly.So you obviously have been the person in a


sense who has revolutionised, in American politics, at least, the


idea of using the on-line media. You had a team, but you were the


guy? I had a team and some really You had a team, but you were the


great co-workers that really helped out. You had people from Google and


Craig's list, people from everywhere helping you? That whole


pour of what is out there, mining data on people. Do you think


essentially the Internet is not a place for privacy. The reason I say


is I wonder looking at the revealing of certain things lately,


Governments all over the world mine our data and others data? It is a


hard thing to answer in a way I think I could go on for hours. It


is a nuanced situation, on the one hand the goal is to stop terrorism,


on the otherhand, I was the guy that had "internet freedom" written


on my hand in a photocall. I wonder how we can have both of these


things and if we can achieve both of them. With that said the


Internet is challenging privacy as we know it, I'm 35 and I think in


regards to internet privacy I'm old. When you look at 25-year-olds they


use it so differently. When you look at 20 yearled olds they use it


different from 25-year-olds, the younger you go, people who grew up


with the interin the, their definition of privacy is completely


different. Is it good or bad?I don't think we can make a judgment


yet, any judgment we would make is using our pasts and lives and


understanding that we grew up with to make the judgment. In that case


isn't there a universal moral code, but more a gep rationale moral


code? It is a paradime shift, we will talk -- Dara dime shift, we


code? It is a paradime shift, we will talk about data and it should


be secure, another person says the same word and means something


different. I don't want to conflate it with NMA thing. Any talk about


privacy you have toed accept that young people use the Internet --


you have to accept that young people use the Internet in a


different way. If you were working for Barack Obama, the on-line


campaign, would some decent on-line campaign have made a difference to


him had he been running up to the decision of whether or not to go


for military intervention. Would he have been so out of step from the


American people if you used your data mining? One thing for


Governments, especially those working in social media and use it


to listen. I know the White House really puts the ear to the ground


and lisenceps to what people are saying. There is a lot of


notifications, I got a notification from Twitter and the White House


that the President of going to be doing a live address a couple of


weeks ago. That is great, but how are they listening? How do the


Governments around the world listen? That is the really


interesting piece. Will you be back in for whatever candidates they


are? They know my number and they should call, we will see how it


goes, take some naps, see my wife, that might be fun.


Last night we set you the challenge of cracking a secret code at the


end of the programme. Well done to Danny for being the first to tweet


with the correct answer. We extend the uncoded message to


with the correct answer. you all:


The Beatles are to release more live performances, 63 track, 37 of


them previouslyen released. To get you in the mood here is a rare


performance in the Odeon theatre 50 years and 16 days ago. In August


1963, start screaming now. # Ahhhh


# Shake it up baby # Twist and shout


# Come on come on come on baby now # Come on and work it all out


# Well you twist a little girl


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